Drugs runner jailed

A DRUG courier who was doing a favour for an Ipswich dealer with a street name of Sam the Man is beginning a two-year jail term today.After he was snared by police, Deon Appleby said he had only been asked to help out because the dealer was left high and dry as his usual runners had been arrested in a massive police swoop a few days earlier.

A DRUG courier who was doing a favour for an Ipswich dealer with a street name of Sam the Man is beginning a two-year jail term today.

After he was snared by police, Deon Appleby said he had only been asked to help out because the dealer was left high and dry as his usual runners had been arrested in a massive police swoop a few days earlier.

Ipswich Crown Court heard Appleby was stopped by offices in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, on April 21 on his way to a drop-off point.

The 24-year-old, of Burgess Place, Martlesham, was taken to the town's police station where he and his car were searched for drugs.

Offices discovered 9.3 grams of heroin worth around £1,000 on Appleby and a small amount of crack cocaine and cannabis in his car.

The court heard he had pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug with intent to supply, possession of a class A drug and possession of a class C drug, at an earlier hearing on April 23 before Ipswich magistrates.

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At Appleby's sentencing Judge John Devaux was told the drug courier had been asked to pick up two parcels from a girl at The Foyer in Star Lane, Ipswich.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp QC told the court it was while Appleby was on his way to a rendezvous at a branch of Barclay's Bank in Woodbridge Road that police pounced.

In mitigation Appleby stressed he had never worked for the dealer before.

The court also heard he had been using drugs since he was 15.

Appleby's fee for doing Sam the Man a favour was said to be £100, although his defence team were keen to point out he had not asked for any money in return.

Judge Devaux heard Appleby had settled in Suffolk with his family after being released from a previous jail term which he served out at Hollesley Bay prison, to get away from London, leaving 'bad influences behind him'.

However Judge Devaux told Appleby: "Couriers or runners are essential in the chain of supply if those who choose to supply are to avoid detection or imprisonment. So, people who do act as couriers for those further up the ladder fulfil an invaluable role, so it should not be thought this minimises the seriousness of the offending."

He sentenced Appleby to three years in jail for the class A intent to supply charge. Appleby was also given three months in jail for possessing a class A drug, along with a one-month prison sentence for possessing a class B drug.

Judge Devaux said all three sentences would run concurrently.

Mr Crimp also asked for an application to be made to confiscate the drugs and assets from any drug dealing by Appleby under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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